Is there a desirable work setting?

The work environment plays an important role in staff job satisfaction. This includes everything from having the right equipment to providing basic comfort, such as an ideal room temperature particularly in the kitchen and noise control. It is important to ensure that the work area is laid out logically and efficiently. Little Chef has created an ideal environment for its staff; the work area has been laid out in a logical way with ideal room temperatures in the kitchen with the aid of fans and heaters.

Are staff members supporting each other? All staff members need to support each other, but sometimes these efforts deteriorate without anyone realizing. Staff members may be focusing solely on their own work rather than their work as part of the team. The phrase “it’s not in my job description” is inappropriate in this situation. Teamwork is particularly important within a restaurant like Little Chef because it will lead to more efficient and effective production and it is an area they need to improve.

People often respond positively to working within a team because it satisfies their social needs. If managers are willing to delegate responsibility to teams it will also meet the employees’ ego and self-actualisation needs which are at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Are they offering effective ways for staff communication? Effective communication is essential within an organisation, because without it employees won’t know what they are supposed to do, why and how to do it.

Similarly, managers will have little idea of how the business is performing, what employees are doing and what their customers think. Communication coordinates many activities within the organisation. It motivates, enables feedback to staff and clarifies roles and responsibilities. Below is an example that illustrates a typical organisational structure of a Little Chef restaurant. It represents chains of command, authority, accountability and responsibility. It is based on the main managerial functions and is controlled from the top layer of senior management.

It shows how people fit together and defines each person’s place and role within the organisation. The typical organisational diagram above shows that the Little Chef restaurant does not have a tall organisational structure, which suggests that there is a good level of communication as well as employee participation. This means it is much easier for an employee lower down the hierarchy to communicate with the manager. The importance of managers actually listening to their employees and their social needs was highlighted in Mayo’s study of the Hawthorne works.

When employees were allowed to share their opinions their productivity rose because they felt they were valued by the organisation. Greater participation has been shown to have tangible results in many companies, such as higher motivation, more innovation and lower labour turnover. (Ian Marcouse, 1999). The traditional methods of communication within organisations – such as team briefings and newsletters remain the most popular methods of communication but they are not necessarily the most effective.

In terms of Little Chef the most effective methods of communication would be through memos and appraisals whereby managers can communicate goal and targets for employees as well as an overview of how they are performing. My study was carried out in accordance with a tight (three-month) timeframe and word count (3500). As a result the study has not included as much detailed research as it could have if I was give a longer timeframe such as a year.

This discouraged me from going into too much detail in some of the issues raised in this study, whereas if I had a longer word count (10000) and a timeframe of about a year, my study would have been more detailed and accurate. Keeping staff turnover low is important. It requires being aware of the current state of the work environment, choosing appropriate new hires and providing them with proper training, talking to staff members and solving problems as they emerge.

When a staff member leaves the restaurant, management need to find out why they are leaving. This will require an extensive exit interview with the employee, this is because staff will usually offer a reason for leaving such as he or she is looking for a job with flexible hours. These would be their main reasons for their departure but an exit interview would uncover the underlying reasons for their departure. For example ask for the employee’s help in critiquing their former job description and the tasks required for the position.

(Appendix6). The answers to these questions may give management some insight into how the staff members view restaurant operations and the performance of management. In addition to the exit interview, they could consider having the departing employee fill out a written exit survey form. (Appendix6). Employees may find it easier to be truthful and to the point on paper than in a face-to-face interview. This survey can be conducted over a period of time and analysed to see if there is a pattern, which may help solve the problem.

The cost of not training staff members has greater consequences to the company than it may seem. I created a predicted profit and loss account analysis, which shows different possible results of the effect of training or the opportunity cost of training. (Appendix8). Such an analysis will be carried out by firms to assess the short-term financial merit of investing in training and as shown in Appendix 7, it has a good financial merit. Little Chef’s main aim is; “To be the motorist’s friend when it comes to offering quality food at value for money prices for people on the move.

” They will need to invest in human resource planning in order to fulfil this aim or face the consequences such as a reduction in sales and failure to meet their main aim, without this investment they may be overtaken by their competitors such as Wimpy. The management should strive to provide superior leadership within the company, keep communication lines open and support the entire staff. They should periodically take time to examine the workplace, and continually seek to improve it. This will help them to create and maintain a workplace where people want to work and stay.